I love Koreatown in the springtime…

Wherein I blog about all things Korean in Los Angeles

Breaking into Jail August 31, 2007

Yesterday at KCC I caught Jailbreaker (광복절특사, KCC called it Jail Breaker and Cineline calls it Jail Breakers), a comedy about two convicts who break out of jail only to discover they’ve been granted a special Independence Day pardon and they have to break back into jail to take advantage of it. I was trying not to go into this with high expectations since I’d been disappointed last week by Marrying the Mafia, but in this case I thought the movie was hilarious. Okay, it wasn’t Radio Star level in poignancy or anything, but on the other hand, it wasn’t trying to be. It succeeded in being exactly what it was trying to be: a funny comedy (sad how those two things so often don’t go together).

Since yesterday evening I’ve been trying to figure out whether this is a comedy that could have been written/made in the US. I still haven’t completely figured it out, but I’m thinking not. The reason is the relationship between the prisoners and the guards. Sure, a fair amount of beating and mistreatment goes on. I mean, it’s a prison, after all. But I didn’t get the impression that the prisoners and guards were enemies in the same way that they would have been in a US movie. I mean, they were but they weren’t. It’s hard to explain. I’ve never been to prison in any country, so I have no idea what conditions and relations are really like there, but it just didn’t feel American to me.

There are plenty of funny moments, and naturally in the end our heroes… No, I won’t give it away. But I will say the writers wrote themselves into a corner, and I had no idea how they were going to get out of it, so it was fun watching how they did. If you’re looking for something lighthearted that will make you laugh, you might give this movie a shot.

Next month KCC is screening The General’s Son trilogy. Check it out here. They totally need to pay me for plugging them (but they don’t).


4 Responses to “Breaking into Jail”

  1. youngkim Says:

    My producing partner got story by credit on this film.

  2. Raven Says:

    Cool. It was a good story!

  3. wangkon936 Says:

    You may want to check out Cullen Thomas’ book entitled “Brother One Cell.” It’s about a recent college grad from the states who goes to Korea to teach English, then gets caught by the police there as he tried to smuggle weed via regular mail to himself.

    He ends up spending 3 and a half years in the Korean prision, but learns a lot about himself and the Korean culture. Ends up being fluent in the language also and grows to appreciate the country. He was even offered to spend his remaining year in an American prision but declined because he actually found it safer in the Korean prisions. Anyways, interesting read worth checking out.

  4. Raven Says:

    Sounds like a fascinating book, thanks for the recommendation!

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